Updates on road closures around the region
Updated at 11:25 am on 12/19
Flooding from rain and snowmelt caused road closures around the Adirondacks on Monday. The National Weather Service expected moderate flooding in the Adirondacks at rivers, streams and low-lying areas and trees could come down causing power outages. But the problems have resulted in government announcements of a state of emergency.
Closures were reported on Route 73 and Route 9 and on side roads of Essex County. UPDATE: Route 73 is now reopened with one lane in sections. (Photo at top: One lane is closed in the Cascade pass on Route 73 in Lake Placid. Heavy rains washed rip rap from retaining walls into the road and a section of pavement was undermined. Photo by Eric Teed)
Rivers were swelling at mid-day in various regions. At least one mud slide, at Bradford Hill Road in Crown Point, resulted in a blocked roadway.
At the bridge near the Olympic ski jumps in Lake Placid the Ausable River rose higher than normal and approached to about a foot from the bridge’s surface.
A collection of broken trees was beginning to disrupt flow of the river, similar to the damming that happened during Hurricane Storm Irene in August 2011.
“I’m not sure if it was higher or not at Irene, but we’re in that territory,” said Jeff Erenstone, a nearby resident. He added that he had not seen such a collection of logs below the bridge since the hurricane.
Rocks were reported as spilling onto Route 73 in the Keene area and a lane was closed through the Cascade Lakes section and between Airport Road and Route 9.
Wilmington Town Supervisor Roy C. Holzer declared a state of emergency.
Essex County officials evacuated residents in flooded sections of Elizabethtown and planned to house them at Boquet Valley schools until other accommodations were sorted. Numerous roads throughout the county were closed due to flooding. Both Route 73 and Route 9N faced major lane closures.
“We are encouraging people not to travel unless necessary,” said Matt Watts, director of Essex County emergency services, noting the conditions were more typical of spring floods. “It is unusual for this time of year.”
Some schools were disrupted, and town officials are planning to contract for emergency services to handle problem areas.
Town of Wells Supervisor Rebekah Crewell declared a state of emergency at 8:30 a.m as the Sacandaga River rose to its highest level yet this year. The Sacandaga River near Hope reached flood stage overnight.
A State of Emergency for Warren County was enacted this afternoon by Kevin Geraghty, Chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors.
Here is an updated list of closed Warren County roads as of 3:30 p.m. Monday. (Please note these are county-maintained roads only. Numerous town and NY State roads Warren County are closed or limited to traffic as well.)
- Trout Lake Road (Warren County Route 48) in Bolton
- Call Street (Warren County Route 32) in Lake Luzerne
- Riverbank Road (Warren County Route 11) in Bolton
- Warrensburg Road (Warren County Route 3) in Thurman
- Harrisburg Road (Warren County Route 22) in Stony Creek (limited to one lane in places because of damage)
In addition, Schroon River Road (Warren County Route 10) in Warrensburg has re-opened after a closure for several hours.
Numerous smaller creeks and rivers in Warren County have jumped their banks, and there are reports of flooded basements at homes around Northern Warren County. The National Weather Service in Albany is predicting minor to moderate flooding on the Hudson and Schroon rivers when they crest late Monday or during the day Tuesday.
The Hudson River in Hadley could reach a minor flood stage by Monday night, topping out Tuesday afternoon, according to forecasts.
Kelley Tucker, executive director of the Ausable River Association, observed significant flooding in parts of the river’s watershed and noted that the river reached among its top 20 highest levels on record. She said when major roads are closed, it forces drivers onto mountainous backroads, which themselves can be flooded by fast moving streams and brooks, especially around undersized bridges and culverts.
“It becomes evident in these storms how important our back road network is,” Tucker said.
Willsboro’s wastewater treatment was unable to keep up with flow partially treated outflow entered the Boquet River, according to a state notice. The town planned to divert flow to onsite storage.
Weather monitors at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center on Whiteface Mountain reported rainfall of 2.13 in on the mountain in Wilmington, 2.14 inches in Gabriels, 2.44 inches in Tupper Lake and 2.7 inches in North Hudson.
Reporting from Zachary Matson, Chloe Bennett and Mike Lynch.